Colts Neck school district goes against NJ transgender policy
🔴 The vote goes against the state's transgender policies
🔴 Attorney General Matt Platkin could take legal action to stop implementation
🔴 Another Monmouth County district may take a similar vote
COLTS NECK — The Colts Neck Board of Education may have put itself in the crosshairs of Attorney General Matt Platkin after adopting a new transgender policy.
The policy would require parents to be notified if they are not already aware a student has changed their gender identity or their name. The principal of the school would develop a plan with the student to tell their parent or guardian.
However, if there is a "good faith and reasonable belief, based on documented evidence and circumstances, that such disclosure will pose a threat of harm to a student," the parent will not need to be notified.
A final vote on the policy is expected June 14.
The New Jersey Division of Civil Rights said the state law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
"As the state agency responsible for preventing and eliminating discrimination and bias-based harassment in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation – including schools – the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) enforces the LAD. DCR will continue to do everything in its power to enforce the robust protections our laws provide and to ensure that LGBTQ+ youth remain safe in our schools."
The Colts Neck school district is made up of a primary, elementary and middle school. Colts Neck High School is part of the Freehold Regional High School District.
The new Colts Neck policy is the opposite of the state’s policy and could draw a civil complaint from Platkin similar to the one against Hanover Township. A Superior Court judge issued an injunction blocking the district from implementing the policy.
Platkin's office on Thursday morning did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for comment on the Colts Neck vote.
Garden State Equity: BOE should reconsider
Christian Fuscarino, executive director of the LGBT civil rights organization Garden State Equity, said the district's policy reates "a hostile and discriminatory environment within the school community."
He urged the Colts Neck Board of Education to reconsider its vote. The group had encouraged members to attend the meeting to speak against the policy.
"The policy's requirement to disclose personal information about students to their parents, such as the use of a name or pronouns that do not correspond to their legal or biological sex, is a violation of privacy and an invasion of their personal lives," Fuscarino said in a written statement to New Jersey 101.5. "If parents want to know if their child is LGBTQ+, they should focus on creating a welcoming environment at home where the child feels comfortable sharing that information with their parents."
The Colts Neck school district did not post video of the meeting as of Thursday morning. Superintendent MaryJane Garibay did not return a message seeking comment on the vote.
The Marlboro Board of Education is also considering a policy similar to Colts Neck's.